John Eames

JohnEames

John has spent most of his working life at Barclays Bank. Wanting to give something back to the community he became Treasurer of the credit union in 2003. In 2009 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer at Lincolnshire Credit Union and has since overseen the progression and growth of the credit union which is close to having 3,000 members.


Often it is single mums who struggle financially and often are at risk of debt with 53% of lone parents admitting to struggling, compared to 29% of married mums.

Becoming a parent is hard work, but it is even harder if you don’t have the support of a partner to care for your child.

The rise of doorstep lenders and instant loans is causing many to borrow more money they can’t repay, causing them further financial stress.

Together with Lincoln Mums and Baby Basket we’ve come up with some financial tips to help young single mums across Lincoln tackle their financial worries:

Don’t go spending too much at once

Don’t buy lots of newborn clothes until you see what people give you. Friends and relatives love to buy clothes for new babies so you don’t need to go on a spending spree.

There’s also no need to buy ‘tiny’ and ‘one month’ clothes unless your baby is really small, 0-3 months might be a bit big for the first few weeks but babies grow very quickly. You can also buy second-hand baby clothes inexpensively in bundles on Facebook groups, Gumtree and eBay.

Expensive nappies aren’t always the best

Nappies and other toiletries may not suit your baby’s skin or fit well so don’t bulk buy until you know what works well for you.

Own brand nappies and toiletries are fine and some are even award winners. Aldi nappies have won many awards and are a fraction of the cost of some other brands. Your baby won’t suffer if it doesn’t have a brand name nappy; they all serve the same purpose!

Try second-hand but be safe

You can borrow maternity and baby clothes by swapping with friends and family. Remember babies just want to be warm and comfortable; they don’t care about brand names.

Only buy a second-hand car seat if you are absolutely certain it has never been involved in an accident, your baby is too precious to take risks over safety.

Second-hand cots, cribs, Moses baskets and pushchairs/prams are fine but check carefully for safety and always buy a new waterproof mattress.

Keep an eye out for bargains

Look out for bargains on social media selling sites and at baby and children’s sales as there are lots on around the county.

Many mums use these to buy clothes for their babies as they don’t stay little for that long so most clothes are almost new. Register with all supermarkets for their baby clubs; as well as receiving offers you also receive notification of baby and toddler events with some great discounts to be had.

You can also register for a ‘Lincoln Mums Card’ online here – with discounts off classes, cafes and much more!

The credit union can offer you access to loans and savings

At the credit union we can offer you access to our ‘Child Benefit Savings and Loan Plan’. The plan will allow you to use our ‘unsecured loans’ of up to £400 to cover the costs of caring for your baby.

We will also encourage you to save part of your child benefit into one of our credit union share accounts. This will help you to save on a regular basis and when you need the money you can simply call us to access your account.

Unlike doorstep lenders we will treat you with the respect you deserve and offer you financial advice when you need it.

Call us today on 01522 973550 or visit our website to find out how we can help you.

For more information on Lincoln Mums and the services they offer go to their website.

For more information on Baby Basket and the work they do throughout Lincolnshire visit their website here.

John has spent most of his working life at Barclays Bank. Wanting to give something back to the community he became Treasurer of the credit union in 2003. In 2009 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer at Lincolnshire Credit Union and has since overseen the progression and growth of the credit union which is close to having 3,000 members.

Around 72% of us feel stressed about money at some point in our lives. In the modern age we are faced with many obstacles in life that can lead us into debt and financial misery.

Due to the uncertain financial climate you can expect more and more employers to be hoarding cash, cutting back on overtime expenses and making employees redundant.

People are now feeling anxious about their job security and when workers with dependants are unexpectedly made redundant cash flow problems begin.

Another cause of financial stress which is affecting our younger generation is the University Student Fees and Student Loans.

A lot of young people with debt problems are those that have left university with student loans and credit card debts to repay. This carries on into adulthood and their financial problem stay with them into their professional careers.

Money mismanagement is also a major issue as we are spending too much, using payday lenders and overspending on credit cards. Some of us ignore interest rates on credit cards and have no real understanding of the meaning of APR when applying for loans.

People need to understand the seriousness of debt and how it can have grave consequences on your mental health. In truth, people sometimes don’t even know how much debt they are in.

The first step to overcoming debt is to face the reality of your situation. Don’t avoid opening your credit card bills, you might be anxious about looking at charges and your balance but don’t be.

Understanding the debt you are in will give you an insight of how much you’re spending and how much you need to cut down on.

Once you understand the situation you are in you can then start to pay off your debts. ‘Debt stacking’ is a method of making the minimum payments on all of your debts and then throwing any remaining money towards the debt that carries the highest interest rate.

This method is a gradual process but it saves you the most money in interest payments.

The Lincolnshire Credit Union could also give you the financial support you need when facing debt. We offer budgeting support to those who struggle to manage their money.

We can arrange for you to talk to one of our money coaches who will help you to develop a budget based on your current financial situation ensuring you are saving and planning for your future.

We will also provide you with a spending diary and give you access to affordable borrowing where appropriate.

For more information or to arrange a meeting call us on 01522 873550 or go to our website.

If you keep to these solutions there will be a day when you pay off one of your debts. However, once you see zero on your credit card you might be tempted to celebrate.

By all means, spend away but avoid purchases you know you can’t pay in full at the register. Because if you do you’ll find yourself back in debt and the cycle of anxiety and depression will start all over again.

John has spent most of his working life at Barclays Bank. Wanting to give something back to the community he became Treasurer of the credit union in 2003. In 2009 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer at Lincolnshire Credit Union and has since overseen the progression and growth of the credit union which is close to having 3,000 members.

We all know how costly Christmas can be; buying presents for loved ones, preparing a ten person Christmas dinner and spending money on fuel to meet up with relatives we only see once a year.

It can be hard to avoid overspending for the festive season but saving in the run up will help soften the blow in January.

The earlier you start saving the easier Christmas will be. Putting a few quid away each week could turn into a huge pile by the time December comes around.

Even saving a small amount over a few months could make a massive difference. For some of us we might be tempted to take a loan out to cover the Christmas costs. At best, that could be money used for something far more worthwhile – at worst, it could leave you with debt you may struggle to pay off.

The average Christmas spend per household is around £500, which includes food, presents, travel and decorations, among other expenses.

Start a budget for how much you plan to spend and don’t overstep the target. Make a list of family and friends you will be buying presents for and allocate an amount for each person.

A Christmas club can be a good idea for some, whereby saving as little as £2 a week could give you a tidy sum by the festive period.

However, if the Christmas club you’re saving with goes out of business, you may lose all of the money you saved. You’re also quite likely to receive your money back in vouchers, which are not always easy to spend in full and gives you a limited range of retailers to spend it with.

An alternative to this could be a credit union Christmas saver account. With this account your money will be deposited into a safe and secure account which can be withdrawn from of November 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

If you start saving £14 a week (£2 a day) from April 1, 2016 until December 1, 2016 you will have a total of £504 in your account. That’s more than enough to cover the cost of Christmas entirely!

One of our young Mum members said: “The Lincolnshire Credit Union Christmas Savers Account is helping me save for a nice Christmas with my daughter.

“She’ll be 10-months-old by Christmas and I’ll be able to buy her that big Christmas list without scrimping at the last minute to get the money together.”

If you still need help budgeting for Christmas we can arrange for you to talk to one of our money coaches. They will help you to develop a budget based on your current financial situation.

For more information about our Christmas savers account or to get budgeting support go to our website here, or call us on 01522 873550.

John has spent most of his working life at Barclays Bank. Wanting to give something back to the community he became Treasurer of the credit union in 2003. In 2009 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer at Lincolnshire Credit Union and has since overseen the progression and growth of the credit union which is close to having 3,000 members.

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